FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:
Martyrs Eutropius, Cleonicus and Basiliscus
Theodoretos the Holy Martyr of Antioch
READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:
The Gospel of Luke 24:36-53
At that time, Jesus, having risen from the dead, stood in the midst of his disciples and said to them, "Peace to you." But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit. And he said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts? See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have." And when he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.
Then he said to them, "These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled. Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high."
Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and they returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.
Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 24.36-53
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ,ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς ἔστη ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· εἰρήνη ὑμῖν. πτοηθέντες δὲ καὶ ἔμφοβοι γενόμενοι ἐδόκουν πνεῦμα θεωρεῖν. καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· τί τεταραγμένοι ἐστέ, καὶ διατί διαλογισμοὶ ἀναβαίνουσιν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν; ἴδετε τὰς χεῖράς μου καὶ τοὺς πόδας μου, ὅτι αὐτὸς ἐγώ εἰμι· ψηλαφήσατέ με καὶ ἴδετε, ὅτι πνεῦμα σάρκα καὶ ὀστέα οὐκ ἔχει καθὼς ἐμὲ θεωρεῖτε ἔχοντα. καὶ τοῦτο εἰπὼν ἐπέδειξεν αὐτοῖς τὰς χεῖρας καὶ τοὺς πόδας. ἔτι δὲ ἀπιστούντων αὐτῶν ἀπὸ τῆς χαρᾶς καὶ θαυμαζόντων εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· ἔχετέ τι βρώσιμον ἐνθάδε; οἱ δὲ ἐπέδωκαν αὐτῷ ἰχθύος ὀπτοῦ μέρος καὶ ἀπὸ μελισσίου κηρίου, καὶ λαβὼν ἐνώπιον αὐτῶν ἔφαγεν. εἶπε δὲ αὐτοῖς· οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι οὓς ἐλάλησα πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἔτι ὢν σὺν ὑμῖν, ὅτι δεῖ πληρωθῆναι πάντα τὰ γεγραμμένα ἐν τῷ νόμῳ Μωϋσέως καὶ προφήταις καὶ ψαλμοῖς περὶ ἐμοῦ. τότε διήνοιξεν αὐτῶν τὸν νοῦν τοῦ συνιέναι τὰς γραφάς, καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὅτι οὕτω γέγραπται καὶ οὕτως ἔδει παθεῖν τὸν Χριστὸν καὶ ἀναστῆναι ἐκ νεκρῶν τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ, καὶ κηρυχθῆναι ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ μετάνοιαν καὶ ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, ἀρξάμενον ἀπὸ ῾Ιερουσαλήμ. ὑμεῖς δέ ἐστε μάρτυρες τούτων. καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἀποστέλλω τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν τοῦ πατρός μου ἐφ᾿ ὑμᾶς· ὑμεῖς δὲ καθίσατε ἐν τῇ πόλει ῾Ιερουσαλὴμ ἕως οὗ ἐνδύσησθε δύναμιν ἐξ ὕψους.
᾿Εξήγαγε δὲ αὐτοὺς ἔξω ἕως εἰς Βηθανίαν, καὶ ἐπάρας τὰς χεῖρας αὐτοῦ εὐλόγησεν αὐτούς. καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εὐλογεῖν αὐτὸν αὐτοὺς διέστη ἀπ᾿ αὐτῶν καὶ ἀνεφέρετο εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν. καὶ αὐτοὶ προσκυνήσαντες αὐτὸν ὑπέστρεψαν εἰς ῾Ιερουσαλὴμ μετὰ χαρᾶς μεγάλης, καὶ ἦσαν διὰ παντὸς ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ αἰνοῦντες καὶ εὐλογοῦντες τὸν Θεόν. ἀμήν.
St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 6:12-20
Prokeimenon. Mode 1.
Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us.
Verse: Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous.
Brethren, "all things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be enslaved by anything. "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food" -- and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, "The two shall become one flesh." But he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun immorality. Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body and in your spirit which belong to God.
Πρὸς Κορινθίους α' 6:12-20
Προκείμενον. Ἦχος α΄.
Γένοιτο, Κύριε, τὸ ἔλεός σου ἐφ' ἡμᾶς.
Στίχ. Ἀγαλλιᾶσθε δίκαιοι ἐν Κυρίῳ
Ἀδελφοί, πάντα μοι ἔξεστιν, ἀλλʼ οὐ πάντα συμφέρει· πάντα μοι ἔξεστιν, ἀλλʼ οὐκ ἐγὼ ἐξουσιασθήσομαι ὑπό τινος. Τὰ βρώματα τῇ κοιλίᾳ, καὶ ἡ κοιλία τοῖς βρώμασιν· ὁ δὲ θεὸς καὶ ταύτην καὶ ταῦτα καταργήσει. Τὸ δὲ σῶμα οὐ τῇ πορνείᾳ, ἀλλὰ τῷ κυρίῳ, καὶ ὁ κύριος τῷ σώματι· ὁ δὲ θεὸς καὶ τὸν κύριον ἤγειρεν καὶ ἡμᾶς ἐξεγερεῖ διὰ τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ. Οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι τὰ σώματα ὑμῶν μέλη Χριστοῦ ἐστιν; Ἄρας οὖν τὰ μέλη τοῦ Χριστοῦ ποιήσω πόρνης μέλη; Μὴ γένοιτο. Οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ὁ κολλώμενος τῇ πόρνῃ ἓν σῶμά ἐστιν; Ἔσονται γάρ, φησίν, οἱ δύο εἰς σάρκα μίαν. Ὁ δὲ κολλώμενος τῷ κυρίῳ ἓν πνεῦμά ἐστιν. Φεύγετε τὴν πορνείαν. Πᾶν ἁμάρτημα ὃ ἐὰν ποιήσῃ ἄνθρωπος ἐκτὸς τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν· ὁ δὲ πορνεύων εἰς τὸ ἴδιον σῶμα ἁμαρτάνει. Ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι τὸ σῶμα ὑμῶν ναὸς τοῦ ἐν ὑμῖν ἁγίου πνεύματός ἐστιν, οὗ ἔχετε ἀπὸ θεοῦ; Καὶ οὐκ ἐστὲ ἑαυτῶν, ἠγοράσθητε γὰρ τιμῆς· δοξάσατε δὴ τὸν θεὸν ἐν τῷ σώματι ὑμῶν, καὶ ἐν τῷ πνεύματι ὑμῶν, ἅτινά ἐστιν τοῦ θεοῦ.
The Gospel of Luke 15:11-32
The Lord said this parable: "There was a man who had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the property that falls to me.' And he divided his living between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.' And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to make merry. Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.' But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, 'Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!' And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'"
Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 15.11-32
Εἶπεν ὁ Κύριος τήν παραβολὴν ταύτην· Ἄνθρωπός τις εἶχε δύο υἱούς. καὶ εἶπεν ὁ νεώτερος αὐτῶν τῷ πατρί· πάτερ, δός μοι τὸ ἐπιβάλλον μέρος τῆς οὐσίας. καὶ διεῖλεν αὐτοῖς τὸν βίον. καὶ μετ᾿ οὐ πολλὰς ἡμέρας συναγαγὼν ἅπαντα ὁ νεώτερος υἱὸς ἀπεδήμησεν εἰς χώραν μακράν, καὶ ἐκεῖ διεσκόρπισε τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτοῦ ζῶν ἀσώτως. δαπανήσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ πάντα ἐγένετο λιμὸς ἰσχυρὸς κατὰ τὴν χώραν ἐκείνην, καὶ αὐτὸς ἤρξατο ὑστερεῖσθαι. καὶ πορευθεὶς ἐκολλήθη ἑνὶ τῶν πολιτῶν τῆς χώρας ἐκείνης, καὶ ἔπεμψεν αὐτὸν εἰς τοὺς ἀγροὺς αὐτοῦ βόσκειν χοίρους. καὶ ἐπεθύμει γεμίσαι τὴν κοιλίαν αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν κερατίων ὧν ἤσθιον οἱ χοῖροι, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐδίδου αὐτῷ. εἰς ἑαυτὸν δὲ ἐλθὼν εἶπε· πόσοι μίσθιοι τοῦ πατρός μου περισσεύουσιν ἄρτων, ἐγὼ δὲ λιμῷ ἀπόλλυμαι!ἀναστὰς πορεύσομαι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου καὶ ἐρῶ αὐτῷ· πάτερ, ἥμαρτον εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ ἐνώπιόν σου. οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός σου· ποίησόν με ὡς ἕνα τῶν μισθίων σου. καὶ ἀναστὰς ἦλθε πρὸς τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ. ἔτι δὲ αὐτοῦ μακρὰν ἀπέχοντος εἶδεν αὐτὸν ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐσπλαγχνίσθη, καὶ δραμὼν ἐπέπεσεν ἐπὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ καὶ κατεφίλησεν αὐτόν.εἶπε δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ υἱός· πάτερ, ἥμαρτον εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ ἐνώπιόν σου, καὶ οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός σου. εἶπε δὲ ὁ πατὴρ πρὸς τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ· ἐξενέγκατε τὴν στολὴν τὴν πρώτην καὶ ἐνδύσατε αὐτόν, καὶ δότε δακτύλιον εἰς τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ καὶ ὑποδήματα εἰς τοὺς πόδας, καὶ ἐνέγκαντες τὸν μόσχον τὸν σιτευτὸν θύσατε, καὶ φαγόντες εὐφρανθῶμεν, ὅτι οὗτος ὁ υἱός μου νεκρὸς ἦν καὶ ἀνέζησε, καὶ ἀπολωλὼς ἦν καὶ εὑρέθη. καὶ ἤρξαντο εὐφραίνεσθαι. ῏Ην δὲ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ὁ πρεσβύτερος ἐν ἀγρῷ· καὶ ὡς ἐρχόμενος ἤγγισε τῇ οἰκίᾳ, ἤκουσε συμφωνίας καὶ χορῶν, καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος ἕνα τῶν παίδων ἐπυνθάνετο τί εἴη ταῦτα. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὅτι ὁ ἀδελφός σου ἥκει καὶ ἔθυσεν ὁ πατήρ σου τὸν μόσχον τὸν σιτευτόν, ὅτι ὑγιαίνοντα αὐτὸν ἀπέλαβεν. ὠργίσθη δὲ καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν εἰσελθεῖν. ὁ οὖν πατὴρ αὐτοῦ ἐξελθὼν παρεκάλει αὐτόν. ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπε τῷ πατρί· ἰδοὺ τοσαῦτα ἔτη δουλεύω σοι καὶ οὐδέποτε ἐντολήν σου παρῆλθον, καὶ ἐμοὶ οὐδέποτε ἔδωκας ἔριφον ἵνα μετὰ τῶν φίλων μου εὐφρανθῶ· ὅτε δὲ ὁ υἱός σου οὗτος, ὁ καταφαγών σου τὸν βίον μετὰ πορνῶν, ἦλθεν, ἔθυσας αὐτῷ τὸν μόσχον τὸν σιτευτόν. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· τέκνον, σὺ πάντοτε μετ᾿ ἐμοῦ εἶ, καὶ πάντα τὰ ἐμὰ σά ἐστιν· εὐφρανθῆναι δὲ καὶ χαρῆναι ἔδει, ὅτι ὁ ἀδελφός σου οὗτος νεκρὸς ἦν καὶ ἀνέζησε, καὶ ἀπολωλὼς ἦν καὶ εὑρέθη.
- See more at: http://www.goarch.org/chapel/lectionary_view?type=gospel&event=1023&code=279&language=el&date=3/3/2013#sthash.80YBF3ha.dpuf
READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:
ῇ Γ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων, Εὐτροπίου, Κλεονίκου καὶ Βασιλίσκου.
Ὁ χρηστὸς ἡμῖν Εὐτρόπιος τοὺς τρόπους,
Ἐφεῦρε Χριστὸν καὶ τέλους διὰ ξίφους.
Καὶ Κλεόνικος εὐκλεᾶ νίκην ἔχει,
Σταυρῷ κρεμασθείς, ὡς Χριστός μου πάλαι.
Εἱρκτὴν τὸ σῶμα καὶ πρὸ τῆς εἱρκτῆς ἔχων,
Εἱρκτῶν λυτροῦται Βασιλίσκος ἐκ δύο.
Ἐν ξύλῳ Εὐτρόπιος σταυροῖο τρίτῃ προσεπήχθη.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἱερομάρτυρος Θεοδωρήτου, Πρεσβυτέρου Ἀντιοχείας.
Χωρεῖν ἔχει που τῆς Ἐδὲμ τὸ χωρίον,
Καὶ τὸν Θεοδώρητον ἔνδον τὸν μέγαν.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, οἱ Ἅγιοι Ζήνων καὶ Ζώϊλος ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦνται.
Ζωῆς λύσις Ζήνωνι καὶ τῷ Ζωΐλω
Ζωῆς ὑπῆρξε κρείττονος παραιτία.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ἡ Ὁσία Πιαμοῦν ἡ παρθένος ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦται.
Κροσσωτὰ χρυσᾶ Πιαμοῦν μελαμφόρος,
Τὰς ἀρετὰς ἄπεισιν ἠμφιεσμένη.
Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον καὶ σῶσον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.
The Martyrs, who were from Amasia, were fellow soldiers and kinsmen of Saint Theodore the Tyro (see Feb. 17). They were betrayed to the Governor Asclepiodotus as Christians, during the reign of Diocletian (284-305). After many torments, Eutropius and Cleonicus were crucified; Basiliscus was not slain together with them, but was shut up in prison, in the hope that with time he might change his mind and sacrifice to the idols. He was beheaded on May 22; see also the account on that day.
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Οι Μάρτυρές σου, Κύριε, εν τή αθλήσει αυτών, στεφάνους εκομίσαντο τής αφθαρσίας, εκ σού τού Θεού ημών, σχόντες γάρ τήν ισχύν σου, τούς τυράννους καθείλον, έθραυσαν καί δαιμόνων, τά ανίσχυρα θράση. Αυτών ταίς ικεσίαις, Χριστέ ο Θεός, σώσον τάς ψυχάς ημών.
Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.
Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Ἀρμονίᾳ πίστεως, συνδεδεμένοι, τοῦ ἐχθροῦ διέλυσαν, τὰς παρατάξεις ἐμφανῶς, σὺν Εὐτροπίῳ Κλεόνικος, καὶ Βασιλίσκος γενναίως ἀθλήσαντες.
Since divine Eutropius and Basiliscus and the famed Cleonicus were bound in unity of faith, they cut asunder the foe's arrays when they contended courageously for the Lord.
- See more at: http://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints_view?contentid=448#sthash.zdm42700.dpuf
Σήμερα η Εκκλησία γιορτάζει την μνήμη του αγίου Ιερομάρτυρος Θεοδωρήτου, πρεσβυτέρου Αντιοχείας. Το μαρτύριο του αγίου Θεοδωρήτου συνδέεται με την αντίθεη και μάταιη ενέργεια του Αυτοκράτορα Ιουλιανού του παραβάτη να διώξη τον Χριστιανισμό και να επαναφέρη την ειδωλολατρία. Ο Ιουλιανός, αν είν' ο πρώτος μετα την επικράτηση και τη νίκη του Χριστιανισμού που θέλησε να επαναφέρη την ειδωλολατρία, δεν είναι κι ο τελευταίος. Μέχρι τις ημέρες μας, πολλοί εμιμήθηκαν το αντίθεο παράδειγμα του Ιουλιανού και πολλών αθώων το αίμα, σαν του αγίου Θεοδωρήτου, έβαψε την γη. Μα όλων τούτων ο αγώνας εναντίον του Θεού αποδείχθηκε μάταιος κι όλοι απέθαναν με τα ίδια λόγια του παραβάτη· "Νενίκηκας, Χριστέ!". Για όλους τους διώκτας μπορούν να επαναληφθούν τα λόγια του ιερού Χρυσοστόμου· "Πόσοι επολέμησαν την Εκκλησίαν και οι πολεμήσαντες απώλοντο!...".
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Εὐτρόπιος, Κλεόνικος καὶ Βασιλίσκος
Ἡ καταγωγὴ αὐτῶν τῶν τριῶν πνευματικῶν βλασταριῶν ἦταν ἀπὸ τὴν Ἀμάσεια τοῦ Πόντου (ὁρισμένοι συναξαριστὲς ἀναφέρουν ὅτι ἦταν καὶ συγγενεῖς τοῦ Ἁγίου Θεοδώρου τοῦ Τήρωνος). Ὅταν ὁ Διοκλητιανὸς ἐξαπέλυσε ἄγριο διωγμὸ κατὰ τῶν χριστιανῶν, ὁ ἔπαρχος Ἀσκληπιοδότης ἀμέσως τοὺς συνέλαβε καὶ τοὺς ἀνέκρινε ἂν πράγματι ἦταν χριστιανοί. Καὶ οἱ τρεῖς, χωρὶς κανένα δισταγμό, ὁμολόγησαν Χριστὸν Ἐσταυρωμένον. Ἀμέσως, ὁ ἔπαρχος διέταξε νὰ τοὺς βασανίσουν ἀνελέητα. Τὰ βασανιστήρια δὲν ἐπηρέασαν καθόλου τὸ θάῤῥος καὶ τὴν συνείδησή τους. Ἐνῷ τοὺς ἔδερναν καὶ τοὺς ἔκαιγαν ἀλύπητα, αὐτοὶ ζητοῦσαν τὴν βοήθεια τοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ Τὸν ὑμνοῦσαν. Ἔτσι, οἱ μὲν Εὐτρόπιος καὶ Κλεόνικος πέθαναν μὲ σταυρικὸ θάνατο, ὁ δὲ Βασιλίσκος, ἀφοῦ φυλακίστηκε, πέθανε μετὰ ἀπὸ μύριες στερήσεις καὶ κακουχίες, χωρὶς νὰ καμφθεῖ τὸ φρόνημά του καθόλου. Παρέμεινε μέχρι τελευταίας πνοῆς πιστὸς στὸ Χριστό. Μ᾿ αὐτὸν τὸν τρόπο καὶ οἱ τρεῖς τεκμηρίωσαν τὰ θεόπνευστα λόγια τοῦ Ἰωάννη στὴν Ἀποκάλυψη, ὅτι «οὐκ ἤγαπησαν τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτῶν ἄχρι θανάτου». Γιὰ τὴν μαρτυρία δηλαδὴ τοῦ Χριστοῦ, οἱ ἄνθρωποι αὐτοὶ δὲν ἀγάπησαν τὴν ζωή τους, ἀλλὰ τὴν περιφρόνησαν μέχρι θανάτου.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Θεοδώρητος ἱερομάρτυρας, πρεσβύτερος Ἀντιοχείας
Ἦταν τὰ θλιβερὰ χρόνια τοῦ Ἰουλιανοῦ τοῦ παραβάτη, ποὺ ὁ ἀσεβὴς αὐτὸς αὐτοκράτορας ἐξεδίωκε τὴν Ἐκκλησία, προσπαθώντας ν᾿ ἀναστηλώσει τὴν εἰδωλολατρία. Οἱ διωγμοὶ αὐτοὶ βέβαια, ἐπεκτάθηκαν καὶ στὴν Ἀντιόχεια τὴν Μεγάλη. Πολλοὶ ὅμως ἀπὸ τοὺς κληρικούς της, ἔμειναν ἀκλόνητοι στὴν παράταξή τους, προστατεύοντας καὶ ἐνθαῤῥύνοντας τὸ ποίμνιο μὲ τὴν παρουσία τους. Μεταξὺ τῶν ἡρῴων αὐτῶν ἦταν καὶ ὁ Θεοδώρητος. Συνελήφθη λοιπὸν ἀπὸ τὸν ἔπαρχο τῆς πόλης (Ἰουλιανὸ ὀνομαζόμενο, ποὺ κατὰ τὸν Σ. Εὐστρατιάδη ἦταν θεῖος τοῦ Ἰουλιανοῦ τοῦ Παραβάτη), ἀλλὰ διατήρησε ὅλη τὴν ἀκεραιότητα τοῦ θάῤῥους του. Ὁ ἔπαρχος στὴν ἀρχὴ τὸν περιποιήθηκε. Καὶ τόνισε τὴν μεγάλη ἀξία τοῦ Θεοδωρήτου, τὴν εὐφυΐα καὶ τὴν παιδεία του. Κατέληξε δὲ προτρέποντας τὸν Θεοδώρητο νὰ ἀπαρνηθεῖ τὸ Χριστό, καὶ νὰ προσέλθει στὴ θρησκεία τῶν εἰδώλων. Ὁ Θεοδώρητος τὸν ἄκουσε μὲ ὑπομονή, καὶ κατόπιν μεταξὺ ἄλλων εἶπε στὸν ἔπαρχο: «Πῶς νὰ προδώσω τὴν ἀλήθειαν, πῶς νὰ λιποτακτήσω ἀπὸ τὴν Ἐκκλησίαν τῆς πίστεως καὶ τῆς ζωῆς, πῶς νὰ ἀφήσω τὴν χριστιανικὴν ἐλπίδα, τὴν χύνουσαν τόσον φῶς καὶ τόσην παρηγοριὰν εἰς τοὺς ζοφώδεις ὁρίζοντας τοῦ βίου, πῶς νὰ φανῶ τόσον ἀχάριστος πρὸς τὸν Χριστόν μου, ὁ ὁποῖος ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ ἔχυσε τὸ αἷμα του; Εἶμαι καὶ θὰ μείνω χριστιανός». Ὁ ἔπαρχος, ἐξεπλάγη μὲν ἀπὸ τὸ θάῤῥος του, διέταξε ὅμως καὶ τὸν ἀποκεφάλισαν.
Οἱ Ὅσιοι Ζήνων καὶ Ζωΐλος
Ἡ Ὁσία Πιαμοῦν ἡ Παρθένος
Καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν Αἴγυπτο καὶ ἔζησε τὸν 4ο αἰῶνα μ.Χ. Νωρὶς στερήθηκε τὸν πατέρα της, ἀλλὰ ἡ μητέρα της τὴν ἀνέθρεψε καὶ τὴν πότισε μὲ τὰ νάματα τῆς χριστιανικῆς εὐσέβειας. Μητέρα καὶ κόρη δόθηκαν μὲ ὅλη τους τὴν καρδιὰ σὲ ἔργα εὐσπλαχνίας καὶ φιλαδελφίας. Μὲ τὸ μικρὸ τοὺς εἰσόδημα καὶ μὲ κόπους τῶν χεριῶν τους, παρηγοροῦσαν ἀσθενεῖς καὶ θλιβομένους. Ἐπίσης στήριζαν τὴν κλονισμένη πίστη τῶν γυναικῶν καὶ ἡ διαγωγή τους ἐνέπνεε ἀγάπη καὶ σεβασμό. Ὅταν πέθανε ἡ μητέρα της, ἡ Πιαμοῦν αὔξησε τοὺς κόπους της στὶς ὑπηρεσίες τῶν εὐαγγελικῶν ἀγαθῶν. Ἡ ἁγιότητά της εἶχε φθάσει καὶ σὲ ἄλλες πόλεις. Κάποτε μάλιστα, κατάφερε μόνη της νὰ σώσει τὴν γενέτειρα πόλη της ἀπὸ τοὺς ἐχθρούς, ὅταν δήλωσε σ᾿ αὐτοὺς τὸ ὄνομά της. Στὸ ἄκουσμα ἐκεῖνοι θυμήθηκαν τὸν Θεὸ καὶ ἀποχώρησαν εἰρηνικά. Ἡ Ἁγία πέθανε μέσα σὲ ἄπειρες εὐλογίες καὶ γενικὸ ἦταν τὸ πένθος τὴν ἡμέρα τῆς κηδείας της.
Ὁ Προφήτης Ἰωὰδ ἢ Ἰωήλ
Περιττῶς ἐδῶ ἐπαναλαμβάνεται ἡ μνήμη του. Βλέπε βιογραφία του τὴν 30η Μαρτίου, ὅπου καὶ ἡ κυρίως μνήμη του.
The Holy Martyrs Eutropios, Kleonikos and Basiliskos suffered in the city of Pontine Amasia (Asia Minor) in about the year 308.
The brothers Eutropios and Kleonikos, and Basiliskos the nephew of the GreatMartyr Theodore of Tyre (Comm. 17 February), were comrades. After the martyr's death of Saint Theodore, they wound up in prison and by their preaching brought to the Christian faith many of the pagans located in prison with them.
When he tortured Saint Theodore, Publius perished shamefully, struck down by Divine wrath. Asclepiodotos was chosen governor of Pontine Amasia, and did not bend from the fierceness of his predecessor. Knowing the comrades of the martyr Theodore of Tyre were still all in prison, the governor commanded that they be brought to him. Saints Eutropios, Kleonikos and Basiliskos thus firmly confessed their faith in Christ in front of this new governor. They were mercilessly beaten, such that their bodies became entirely bruised. At the time of torture Saint Eutropios prayed loudly to the Saviour: "Grant us, O Lord, to endure the making of these wounds for the sake of the crown of martyrdom, and come in help to us, like as Thou camest to Thy servant Theodore". In answer to this prayer of the saint, there appeared to the martyrs the Lord Himself with Angels and together with them the holy GreatMartyr Theodore of Tyre, saying to them: "Behold, the Saviour is come in help to you, that ye may know about life eternal".
Soldiers and many of the people standing nearby were also granted to behold the Saviour. They began to urge Asclepiodotos to halt the tortures. Seeing, that the people were distraught and ready to believe in the True God, the governor commanded the martyrs to be taken away. The governor then invited Saint Eutropios to him at supper and urged him to publicly offer sacrifice to the pagan gods, yet remain a Christian in soul.
But Eutropios refused this offer.
On the following day they brought the martyrs to a pagan temple, so as to compel them by force to offer sacrifice. Eutropios thereupon began to entreat the Saviour: "Lord, be with us, and destroy the raging of the pagans. Grant, that on this place be offered a Christian Bloodless Sacrifice unto Thee, the True God". These last words of prayer had only just been spoken, when there began an earthquake, the walls of the temple began to collapse, and with them was smashed also the statue of the goddess Artemis. Everyone fled from the temple so as not to be crushed amidst the rubble. Amidst the noise of the earthquake was heard a voice from on high: "Your prayer is heard, and on this place shalt be built an house for Christian prayer".
When the earthquake ended, the governor Asclepiodotos, barely just recovered from fright, gave orders to drive high wooden stakes into the ground, tie the martyrs to them and pour boiling tar over them. The saints began to pray to God, and Eutropios cried out turning to the torturers: "May the Lord turn your deed against you!" And the tar began to flow aside the bodies of the martyrs, like water with marble, scorching the torturers. Those seeing this fled in terror, but the governor in his bitterness gave orders to rend their bodies with iron hooks and to sting their wounds with mustard, mixed with salt and vinegar. The saints endured these torments with remarkable firmness.
The following night before execution the saints spent their time at prayer, and again the Lord appeared to them and strengthened them.
On the morning of 3 March, Saints Eutropios and Kleonikos were crucified, but Basiliskos was left in prison.
They executed Saint Basiliskos on 22 May in the city of Komana. They beheaded him, and threw his body into a river. But christians found his remains and buried them in a ploughed field. Later at Komana was built a church in the name of Saint Basiliskos.
An account about the life of the holy martyr is located under 22 May.
The Monastic Piama pursued asceticism not far from Alexandria. The saint lived in the home of her mother, as in an hermitage: she partook of food at the end of the day, and after prayer she spun flax. Saint Piama was vouchsafed to receive the gift of insight. When the people of a nearby more populous village, bedazzled with greed, were ready to destroy the small village of the holy maiden, in order to divert water only to their own fields at the time of the overflowing of the Nile, Saint Piama discerned in spirit about this wicked intent and explained it to the village elders. The startled elders fell on their knees to the saint, imploring her to go to the neighbouring people and dissuade them from their evil purpose. The monastic Piama did not go for a meeting, since for a long time she shunned contact with people. The saint spent all night at prayer, and in the morning the people of the neighbouring habitation, having armed themselves and set off for the village of the holy maiden, suddenly stopped still and were not able to proceed further. The Lord revealed to the impious, that the prayer of Saint Piama held them back. The people came to their senses and repented of their wicked intent. They sent messengers to the village with a request for peace and said: "Thanks be to God, Who through the prayers of the maiden Piama hath delivered us". The saint expired peacefully to the Lord in the year 337.
The Volokolamsk Icon of the Mother of God -- is a copy of the Vladimir Icon of the Moscow Uspenie cathedral. The icon was brought from Zvenigorod to the Uspenie monastery of the Monk Joseph of Volotsk on 2 March 1572, during the 2nd week of Great Lent and was solemnly met by hegumen Leonid (1563-1566; 1568-1573) together with all the monastic brethren.
It is distinguished by its particular depiction on the margins of Sainted Kyprian (right) and Sainted Gerontii (left), metropolitans of Moscow.
With the name of Metropolitan Kyprian is associated the first arrival of the ancient Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God from Byzantium to Moscow in the year 1395, and under Metropolitan Gerontii in 1480 the Vladimir Icon came finally to Moscow.
In the year 1588 the Volokolamsk Icon was dedicated atop the gate in the church at the south gates of the Josepho-Volotsky monastery in honour of the Meeting of the Vladimir Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God (Comm. 26 August).
At the end of the XVII Century, when a church of the same name was built in Moscow at Staraya Basmanna, the atop the gate church of Joseph of Volotsk was re-dedicated in the name of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul. The Volokolamsk Icon was transferred to its proper place on the iconostas of the new cathedral Uspensky church of the Josepho-Volotsky monastery.
In its useage at the Josepho-Volotsky monastery, this icon in 1578 was accounted as wonderworking.
THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:
1. THE HOLY MARTYRS, EUTROPIUS, CLEONICUS AND BASILLISCUS
They were companions of St. Theodore Tiro. When the righteous Theodore gloriously died, they remained behind in prison, and for a long time they were not sentenced due to a change in the emperor's deputy in the city of Amasea. When the new governor arrived, more inhuman than his predecessor, he ordered that these three be brought before him. All three were youths. Eutropius and Cleonicus wereblood brothers, and Basilliscus was a kinsman of St. Theodore. All three were like blood brothers in brotherly love. As such, they said before the governor, "As the Holy Trinity is undivided, so also are we by our faith undivided and in love inseparable." In vain was all the flattery on the part of the governor and in vain were his attempts to bribe Eutropius. First of all, the deputy invited Eutropius to dine with him. Eutropius refused, quoting from the Psalms, "Happy the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked" (Psalm 1:1). After that, the deputy offered him a large amount of money, one hundred-fifty litres of silver, which Eutropius also refused and reminded the governor that because of silver, Judas lost his soul. After all attempts at interrogation and torture, the first two were sentenced to be crucified, and Basilliscus was sentenced to be beheaded. And so it was, two brothers crucified on two crosses for which they gave thanks to Christ that He made them worthy of the same death by which He Himself died. The third, Basilliscus, was beheaded. They all entered the Kingdom of Joy where St. Theodore, their commander, awaited them and who before them was glorified by Christ the Lord and Victor. They suffered honorably in the year 308 A.D.
2. SAINT PIAMA THE EGYPTIAN
For the sake of Christ, Piama did not wish to marry; she dedicated herself to a life of asceticism in the home of her mother. She ate very little food, and that, every other day. She spent most of her time in prayer and contemplation. Piama possessed the "Gift of Discernment." She died peacefully, wedding her soul to the Lord about the year 377 A.D.
3. THE UNKNOWN MAIDEN
Coming from a wealthy home in Alexandria, she had a good father who suffered much and came to an evil end, and an evil mother who lived well, died peacefully and was buried with honors. Perplexed as to whether she should live according to the example of her father or her mother, this maiden had a vision which revealed to her the conditions of her mother and her father in the other world. She saw her father in the Kingdom of God and her mother in darkness and in torment. This vision helped themaiden to decide that she would dedicate her whole life to God and, like her father, would adhere to the commandments of God, without considering all the adversities and the misfortunes which she would have to endure. She was faithful to the will of God to the end and, with the help of God, was made worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven where she was reunited with her God-loving father.
HYMN OF PRAISE
SAINTS EUTROPIUS, CLEONICUS AND BASILLISCUS
The mind composed and uplifted to God the Most High,
The heart enflamed with love toward Him,
Does not care about pains nor about the body, worry,
Over such as these, only the Lord rules.
The mind fixed on Christ, that is most important.
This, during his torments, Saint Eutropius recognized
And Cleonicus his brother and beloved Basilliscus,
All three in the fire as though in the morning dew, were.
A mind fixed on Christ, about tortures does not care,
If pain persists, so also does prayer persist,
About pain, it does not think, but prayer, it weaves;
He who fears God does not fear pain.
Two blood brothers raised on the Cross:
Their bodies convulse, but the spirit does not stir,
Both glorify God Who glorified them;
Such an honorable death, to them, He gave.
The garment of the flesh is rent and removed
And the spirit races toward heaven; the spirit, than the body, is stronger;
Receive O God, they cry out, our spirit in the heights,
To You be enteral glory, O Son of God!
Humanly speaking, Christ, by His obedience, elevated Himself to primacy in the Church, in the world and in the history of mankind. No one can be a good leader who has not completed the school of obedience. Adam forfeited the authority and dominion over the living creatures and the elements of nature at the very moment when he showed himself disobedient to God. The Abba Moses said, "Obedience begats obedience; if someone listens to God, God also listens to him." It is obvious then, that God listens to man more than man listens to God, especially when one takes into consideration how often and in how many ways man sins daily against the commandments of God. It is a fact that the Eternal God listens to us, corruptible as we are, more than we listen to Him. This should fill all of us with shame who still have a conscience. When St. Eutropius was being tortured, along with his two companions, he prayed to God, "Come to us in assistance as You came to Your servant Theodore Tiro." Suddenly, the ground shook and the obedient Lord appeared with His angels along with St. Theodore. The Lord said to the sufferers, "During the time of your torture, I stood before your faces and observed your patience. I will write your names in the Book of Life."
To contemplate the Lord Jesus at the Mystical Supper:
1. How He chose bread and wine, two ordinary elements of nourishment, and through them instituted His visible and invisible bond with the Church until the end;
2. How the Mystical Supper was preserved until today and how it will be preserved until the end of time as the Mystery of Communion;
3. How everyday, and almost every hour, somewhere in the world, a priest, consecrates the bread and wine and receives it as the Body and Blood of Christ. What a wonderful vision that is! [The Consecration of the bread and wine and receiving it as the Holy Body and Precious Blood of Christ]
About love for your neighbor
"Yet that I remain in the flesh is more necessaryfor your benefit" (Philippians 1:24).
Inflamed with the love of God, the Apostle Paul acknowledged, in his Epistle to the Philippians, that for him death is a gain because his life is Christ's. Paul's love for Christ draws him toward death so that he may stand by Christ as soon as possible,and his love for the faithful again compels him to remain in the flesh. However, there are not two loves which attract the apostle and pulls him in two directions, but one and the same love which opens before him two treasures of wealth. One treasure is the blessed world in heaven, and the other treasure is the souls of the faithful on earth. That heavenly treasure is increased by this wealth from earth; this treasure overflows into the other. To go to heaven, the apostle is drawn by love and reward; to remain on earth, he is drawn by love and duty. When mortal man, my brethren, discovers that it is more important to remain in the flesh out of love for his brethren, what kind of miracle is it then that the eternal God knew, before the apostle, that it was more important to be in the flesh for the salvation of mankind than out of the flesh in the spiritual kingdom? Does not this confession of Paul before the Philippians explain to us with complete clarity the reasons for the Incarnation of the Son of God? There, in the heavens, is the true Kingdom of Christ and the true life of Christ without the mingling of sin and death. But the love of the Son of God toward men deemed it necessary to remain in the flesh on earth among men. Truly, we need to be thankful to the Apostle Paul that he, in explaining himself to us, explained the mystery of Christ's coming and His dwelling in the flesh.
O Lord, wonderful are You in Your saints.